Our economy has long relied on a model whereby demand for growth promotes more and more material consumption. The incentive for industry is obvious, but the consequences are inescapable if its practices continue to cause a downward spiral of natural resource depletion and pollution. We have little time to change the direction of the global industrial system. So what needs to happen? The question demands an urgent response in order to transform current manufacturing practices to operate within planetary limits. Steve Evans wants us to rethink the entire industrial system. As Director of Research at the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge, he leads a large team seeking transformative solutions. With first-hand experience in industry he combines a solid grasp of complex real-life problems with academic research. He works with businesses and governments around the world to identify practical changes that can be implemented immediately and to bring about system-level transformation. At Falling Walls, Steve will suggest that the first major step is simply ‘being efficient’ and argues for the transforming effect of learning ‘how to stop doing stupid stuff’. Steve will argue that in order for an organisation to be profitable it must in fact also be sustainable, offering hope for a future with lower resource consumption and better lives.
University of Cambridge
Steve Evans is the Director of Research at the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge and leads the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability. Working at the crossroads of industry and academia, his research aims at understanding how the industry can bring environmental and social sustainability concerns into its design and manufacturing practices. In his advisory and policy roles, he lays dual emphasis on urgent & practical change now and system level change that offers hope for a sustainable future.